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Carly Car Check app launched

Want every detail before making a used purchase? This OBD-based adapter and app combo might be just the thing

By Matt Bird / Thursday, October 12, 2017

Even with reams of history, a discerning owner and all possible checks completed, buying a used car is always a slight gamble. How has it been driven during those miles? Is something about to expire that I've not been told about? What if it's clocked?

"Hang on, this 335d ISN'T mapped?"

"Hang on, this 335d ISN'T mapped?"

That could be about to change though, with a new app promising to deliver the most detail yet for used car buyers, by accessing the car's diagnostic port. The

has been created in Germany - so it's only available for BMWs, Minis, Mercedes and VWs currently - and uses an adapter and mobile app to deliver a diagnostic and mileage report to your phone on any prospective purchase. Perhaps send the seller in to make a coffee at that point...

Carly's research with 300,000 cars revealed that 23 per cent of Minis tested had some kind of mileage manipulation, with 27 per cent of E60 5 Series too. Of all the BMWs analysed, 15 per cent had some kind of discrepancy detected by the app; 90 per cent of those were mileage related, the rest "concerning manipulating the vehicle identity itself."

Time to reveal some secrets...

Time to reveal some secrets...

The Carly app interrogates up to 50 control units, providing fuel economy data, fault codes and journey times too. We'd all rather buy a car that's been used for longer journeys rather than just shunting around town, right? Now you can know! In addition, the app can apparently be used to clear fault codes - so there is an advantage for sellers too, if they're feeling sneaky - as well as begin DPF regeneration in diesel cars. Yep, what would have once required a long drive can now be initiated via your smartphone. That's assuming anybody is left buying diesels at the moment...

All sounds very clever then, and a useful tool for used car buyers - you can read more about how it works on this BMW forum. Prices start at £44.90 for the adapter, with the 'Lite' version of the app free from wherever you source your apps. The 'Pro' version of the app costs £43.99, and that's what you're going to need to access the features described above. More expensive than downloading Angry Birds, yes, but then it could save you an awful lot more than the purchase price further down the road.

??[Sources: CarlyCarCheck??, Bimmerfest]

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